Yes? Vivitar 75-205 mm 1:3.8 Close Focusing Auto Zoom

Started Jul 30, 2008 | Discussions
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Amy S Regular Member • Posts: 206
Yes? Vivitar 75-205 mm 1:3.8 Close Focusing Auto Zoom

I have a chance to get this lens cheap

Vivitar, 75-205 mm 1:3.8 Close Focusing Auto Zoom

the serial number is 22839201 and it takes 58mm filters.

From reading, I think this was a well regarded lens made by Kiron.

Do you think it's worth $30ish?

I'm in need of a macro lens - does anyone know if this is a true macro lens? I figure this one will get me started with macro until I can save $$$ for a current model.

I have a D200 - and I'm not super informed about AI, non-AI, etc., although I've viewed and read about the various lens types. It appears to me from a chart on KenRockwell that if it 'fits' on my camera, it will work. I can't mess up my camera somehow by attaching a non-compatible lens, can I?

Thanks for any knowledge on this lens.

Amy

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swivelfan Regular Member • Posts: 417
Re: Yes? Vivitar 75-205 mm 1:3.8 Close Focusing Auto Zoom

The Vivitar 75-205mm lens is not a macro lens. The focus range goes down to slightly below 2 metres / 6,5 feet. At the 75mm setting there is a pssibility to engage a "close focus". Since no magnification factor is indicated on the lens I can't tell you how big the magnification in the close-focus range is but it certainly is not a substitute for a macro lens.

The optical performance of the lens is medicore. Wide open the lens is simply awful, at f/5,6 sharpness is just acceptable from 75mm to 150mm. Above that you need to stop down to f/8 to achieve acceptable sharpness.

If you are looking for a cheap macro lens get a manual 55mm Micro-Nikkor (f/3,5 or f/2,8-version)

If you are looking for a cheap manual tele zoom get a 80-200mm 4,5 AI Nikkor with a serial number starting with 7 or 8. Much better optically and cheap. Sharp with excellent colors and contrast wide open up to 135mm, from then on stopping down to f/5,6 is recommended. To turn this lens into a macro lens you could try to use an extension tube. Kenko manual tubes for AI-lenses can be had quite cheap, too.

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swivelfan (I started with the legendary Coolpix swivel series: 9 9 5 / 4 5 0 0 with all the converters, now D 2 0 0 and a few lenses)

Amy S OP Regular Member • Posts: 206
Re: Yes? Vivitar 75-205 mm 1:3.8 Close Focusing Auto Zoom

Thank you for this insight, I appreciate it!

It was just something that came up in my area, and I thought I'd pick up. Doesn't sound like a good choice.

Amy

swivelfan wrote:

The Vivitar 75-205mm lens is not a macro lens. The focus range goes
down to slightly below 2 metres / 6,5 feet. At the 75mm setting there
is a pssibility to engage a "close focus". Since no magnification
factor is indicated on the lens I can't tell you how big the
magnification in the close-focus range is but it certainly is not a
substitute for a macro lens.

The optical performance of the lens is medicore. Wide open the lens
is simply awful, at f/5,6 sharpness is just acceptable from 75mm to
150mm. Above that you need to stop down to f/8 to achieve acceptable
sharpness.

If you are looking for a cheap macro lens get a manual 55mm
Micro-Nikkor (f/3,5 or f/2,8-version)

If you are looking for a cheap manual tele zoom get a 80-200mm 4,5 AI
Nikkor with a serial number starting with 7 or 8. Much better
optically and cheap. Sharp with excellent colors and contrast wide
open up to 135mm, from then on stopping down to f/5,6 is recommended.
To turn this lens into a macro lens you could try to use an extension
tube. Kenko manual tubes for AI-lenses can be had quite cheap, too.

-- hide signature --

swivelfan (I started with the legendary Coolpix swivel series: 9 9 5
/ 4 5 0 0 with all the converters, now D 2 0 0 and a few lenses)

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mironv Veteran Member • Posts: 9,778
Re: Yes? Vivitar 75-205 mm 1:3.8 Close Focusing Auto Zoom
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Any lens that makes 1:5 magnification can be marked MACRO. There are many budget lenses under $200 that can make a 1:1 or 1:2 magnification. For casual closeups in 1:4 to 1:2 many zooms can do. Sigma AF70-300mm Macro is one and brand new is $185. There are many older manual lenses but best buy for anyone starting in macro is a good book to learn how you can get any magnification with any lens look for John Shown Closeups in Nature.
Mironv
http://mironv.smugmug.com/

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Ernied New Member • Posts: 3
Re: Yes? Vivitar 75-205 mm 1:3.8 Close Focusing Auto Zoom

its safe to say that if its vivitar its bad to mediocre.

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J.E.D.

jl22182 Regular Member • Posts: 300
Re: Yes? Vivitar 75-205 mm 1:3.8 Close Focusing Auto Zoom

My copy of this lens was pretty bad. I can't recommend it, not even at $30.

Supper Dave New Member • Posts: 12
Re: Yes? Vivitar 75-205 mm 1:3.8 Close Focusing Auto Zoom
1

I know this is an old thread, but these lenses are still floating around and people find this thread when searching for information before buying them, so I'd like to contradict the advice from all of the people that responded.

Simply because it is a Vivitar does not make it a bad lens. That is just ridiculous.

http://forum.mflenses.com/testing-my-lenses-part-105-vivitar-75-205mm-3-8-t57276.html

There are many good reviews, and many tens of thousands of excellent photos taken with this lens.

To say it is "just awful" wide open is also ridiculous. Take a look at the samples on the page I linked to, maybe the shooter is just an exceptionally good photographer?  Maybe he got the only good lens from that manufacturer? Or modified it with custom glass and coatings?

I don't know, but I do know not to take all the advice on the internet as factual and I have one coming in the mail and I'll find out myself next week.

Kitacanon Senior Member • Posts: 2,802
Re: Yes? Vivitar 75-205 mm 1:3.8 Close Focusing Auto Zoom

Better choice: 75-300mm/4.5-5.6 AF-Nikkor....best long-range zoom for $75.

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Supper Dave New Member • Posts: 12
Re: Yes? Vivitar 75-205 mm 1:3.8 Close Focusing Auto Zoom

Thanks, I'll keep my eyes open for one.

Clay Bear New Member • Posts: 12
Re: Yes? Vivitar 75-205 mm 1:3.8 Close Focusing Auto Zoom

Actually, I just had a pristine version of this lens, the one touch design, delivered today. Cost me less than $25 delivered. And it takes beautiful pictures. On the Fuji XP-1 using the EVF and manual focus with peaking it's easy to nail sharp pictures, even wide open.
Not that I care with a telephoto, but I don't see any softness in the corners. I can see no chromatic aberration, something I see a lot of with legacy zooms. It will focus very closely, it does deserve the "macro" designation.
It handles great. The zoom mechanism exhibits absolutely no creep and it also holds focus when zooming in or out.
I think I would be hard pressed to find a modern telephoto, this fast, this sharp, this well built and handles this well for under a grand.
Thanks for pointing me in the right direction.

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O.C.Beyer

madecov
madecov Veteran Member • Posts: 3,368
Re: Yes? Vivitar 75-205 mm 1:3.8 Close Focusing Auto Zoom

back in the old days of Tri-X, Echtachrome, Kodachrome I had a Kiron 70-200 f/4

It was also marketed by Vivitar as the series 1 lens. It was a great lens for the time. I also had the Kiron 30-80mm 3.5-4.XX (can't remember). I used them on my honeymoon in 1982 on my first ever Canon AE-1 after upgrading from a Chinon m42 manual only camera. Both were very highly regarded lenses for the time period and I have some great memories of using them up until the film era EOS line came out.

Kiron was a great manufacturer with robust build quality and very good glass. I almost miss those days.

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Steve Bingham
Steve Bingham Forum Pro • Posts: 23,512
Re: Yes? Vivitar 75-205 mm 1:3.8 Close Focusing Auto Zoom

Why are people replying to an 8 year old post?

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Steve Bingham
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Latest postings are always at the bottom of each page.

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Janoch
Janoch Senior Member • Posts: 2,493
Re: Yes? Vivitar 75-205 mm 1:3.8 Close Focusing Auto Zoom

Where have you been?

It's the new daily praxis here! Usually by 1-post-only users btw...

Oldest thread so far was 15 years. Just a couple of days ago...

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Clay Bear New Member • Posts: 12
Re: Yes? Vivitar 75-205 mm 1:3.8 Close Focusing Auto Zoom

Why not? The lens is 40 years old, is there an expiration date on information about it?

Steve Bingham wrote:

Why are people replying to an 8 year old post?

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Steve Bingham
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www.ghost-town-photography.com
Latest postings are always at the bottom of each page.

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Clay Bear

Clay Bear New Member • Posts: 12
Re: Yes? Vivitar 75-205 mm 1:3.8 Close Focusing Auto Zoom

Janoch wrote:

Where have you been?

It's the new daily praxis here! Usually by 1-post-only users btw...

Oldest thread so far was 15 years. Just a couple of days ago...

And you have a problem with that, why?

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Clay Bear

Janoch
Janoch Senior Member • Posts: 2,493
Re: Yes? Vivitar 75-205 mm 1:3.8 Close Focusing Auto Zoom

Give me a couple of years to come up with a reply...

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Clay Bear New Member • Posts: 12
Re: Yes? Vivitar 75-205 mm 1:3.8 Close Focusing Auto Zoom

What I thought.

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Clay Bear

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